Wiping data from hard drives



How often do I get to talk about this? Yahoo News has an article on a couple who, a year ago, took their PC to Best Buy to have the hard drive swapped. Best Buy assured them that the drive would be destroyed…. Recently they got a call from a guy in Chicago that had bought a hard drive at a flea market. It had their data on it and he wondered if they wanted it or if he should wipe the data. OK – there’s this really good utility Dariks Boot and Nuke (DBAN) that can thoroughly wipe a hard drive. I know the couple in this article had taken their drive to someone else, but….


I usually try to wipe drives in the presence of the customer, although at times I’ve given a 2 week “discover if there’s anything we missed copying over” waiting period before it get’s nuked. I hear that the standard “Geek Squad” procedure at Best Buy is to drill holes through the drive. That’s certainly dramatic I’m sure – frankly I’d prefer a thorough disc wipe with DBAN.

Please!! if you’re getting a new hard drive and tossing out the old one, or just replacing the computer entirely, WIPE the hard drive. Either figure out how to download and boot a freely available (and excellent) utility like DBAN, find a friend who can (and preferably watch them nuke it), or pay someone and watch them nuke it.

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